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Archive for September, 2016: Trying to keep Tabs on my finances
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Home > Archive: September, 2016

Archive for September, 2016

Gas shortage

September 18th, 2016 at 11:55 am

So I have just been informed this morning at our workplace that

Text is we are experiencing a gas shortage and Link is
we are experiencing a gas shortage. A gas pipe bursted in Alabama earlier this weekend, and now, the local gas stations near me have barely any gas left.

Where there is still gas, prices have already gone up by anywhere from $0.10 to $0.55 per gallon. Services are not expected to return to normal until at least a week from now.

I drive a Prius, and I mostly commute to begin with, so I don't see this as a problem for me. Still though, all this just brings back this issue of our country being perhaps too dependent on fossil fuel.

It terms of absolute fuel safety, I definitely think plug-in hybrids are the best solution, because you'd have to lose both gas AND power before those things will stop running. My Prius is good (at a regular 50+ mpgs) but it still requires gas to go anywhere.

That said, I would still seriously consider an all-electric car as well. In fact, I wonder if it's possible to some day live in such a way where I may not need a car at all? It'd be nice if I can slim my transportation needs down to just a bicycle....

One man's cabin

September 17th, 2016 at 03:45 pm

I've seen a lot of good tiny house builds, but

Text is this one just oozes personality and Link is
this one just oozes personality.

My List

September 16th, 2016 at 03:25 pm

I had to scroll back to find out what in the world is going on with everybody listing stuff. But it sounds like an interesting challenge... because I don't think it'd actually be easy for me to come up with 20 factoids that you guys may or may not already know. I'm just a really boring guy in real life haha (though this is a personally chosen way of life so I am not sad about it or anything).

1. I was originally here under a different name, but some of you knew that already.

2. I changed name here when I had convincing evidence that my ex-wife (along with some work employees) knew who I was on here, and I wasn't comfortable with that.

3. I am now officially divorced longer than I have been married.

4. I am no longer as active here because my life is mostly back on track... and therefore don't have much of anything interesting to add. That and changes in my work schedule.

5. I have 3 kids in real life. Ages 16, 18, and 26. Yikes, where has the time gone?

6. I am very serious about privacy. It is very difficult to find any information about who I am online, and I am proud of this fact.

7. I've literally spent more years living between my parent's house and my aunt's house than one that is my own... which some of you probably already knew from reading from my blogs.

8. However, the results finally paid off this year when I was able to purchase a house without having to take on a mortgage.

9. I am a legal conceal carry pistol carrier for more than 20 years.

10. I am currently typing this in jail.... Yes I work here and not because I did something wrong haha.

11. I have trained in four different martial arts in the past... Tae Kwon Do, Karate, Kempo, and Krav Maga. (A lot of ground fighting as well, but the list may not reflect that.)

12. There are at least two buddies out there who share the same shoulder tattoo as I do. Something something younger and dumber but it isn't anything bad. In fact, it's based on the "go with the flow" philosophy.

13. I play a lot of video games in real life. It's something that I think hinders me more than anything in terms of actually not being uh single. However, it's also like my only hobby really. Otherwise, I don't spend on anything else.

14. The last two women that I've dated both played video games. In fact, that's how we met. It didn't work out, but not because of video games.

15. One of them that I dated was also a US/Canada national champion in those Dance Dance Revolution video games. At their level, the competition and even athleticism is intense. Lots of example videos on YouTube if you want to see what that's like.

16. My mom is trying to hook me up with people she knows, but to be perfectly honest... I think I am getting to a point where I may actually prefer to just be single. I don't know.

17. For just myself, I am most proud of my financial accomplishments. As some of you already know, my car is paid off, my house is paid off, and I am debt free. I just want to live a simple life and be happy....

18. I still yearn to be mobile and free (aka living in a tiny house or camper van). Mostly because it would be financially cheaper.... However, I am currently in a regular house due to family and work commute reasons. No idea how long I will be here.

19. My closet is still my bedroom, and I've converted my bedroom into my living room. I know it's crazy, but it works for me. My real living room is completely empty right now. Maybe I'll turn it into a gym or something, I don't know.

20. I've only met one SA member in real life. She was a lurker more than anything, and I was trying to be a helpful guide around town. Wouldn't mind meeting more SA people though.

Charity donation

September 8th, 2016 at 01:43 pm

So I've known this person online for years. We don't associate much, but the entire time that I've known her, she's been ill, and the doctors can't fully figured out why. They think it's a somewhat complex mix of issues that's masquerading as one.

Long story short, she's never asked for help with medical bills before until now. After talking to her for a bit, it sounds like what she's proposing sounds could actually get her close to a full recovery.

Unfortunately, she needs around $4k for the treatment, and given the fact that her entire family is basically poor, well, she told me that it's probably a pipe dream.

Well I donated $3k to make sure it she really could get the treatment she needs. She was really happy and thanked me profusely. It was a nice warm fuzzy feeling. This marks the largest charity donation I've ever made to anyone or anything.

But that's also a lot of money to me. It's a big dent in my wallet, and it will be many long months before I can recover that amount.

The upside is that it is only the cash I am holding right now. I don't normally hold that much cash, but luckily for the both of us, I did. The rest of my finances are insulated and just fine. I just need to rebuild my cash reserves.

In case anyone is wondering who it is or if I am making this up,

Text is check out this link and Link is
check out this link. If you are feeling charitable, feel free to make a donation yourself if you want.

Edit: Again, I get nothing for doing this. I mean brownie points maybe, but we don't associate much to begin with.

Also, I questioned her on the efficacy of "holistic medicine" in general, and she said that she doesn't actually believe in that field either, but this current regiment of treatments are actually working. It's just that it's very expensive to keep it going, and insurance won't cover it.

This is probably the last time I will be able to donate to her about this. I hope that it really works towards a full recovery, but if she doesn't, then I will know this stuff won't work for her.

Besides, there's something awkward about mixing money with friendship, especially when they realize that you have the kind of money that they don't and are willing to part with it for some reason. I've done another charity in the past for someone else with ailments going to an ALS camp I think? Although they were very polite, they started to kind of track me down asking for more help and I didn't like that.

Cars and cooking

September 7th, 2016 at 12:46 pm

Right now, I am using an old method to keep track of my car that I've used for years because well uh that's how I've always done it.

I use trip odometer 1 to gauge my range and fuel efficiency between tanks. In other words, every time I fill up, I reset my first trip odometer.

I use trip odometer 2 to gauge my range between oil changes. That is, every time, my car gets an oil change, I reset my second trip odometer.

So that's the old way. It works... I think. However, I know there are plenty of apps for it and what not. I don't know if they are better. They probably are, but they are not a part of my "work flow habits" if you will.

So, how do you guys keep track of your car? Is there a better way you recommend?


Oh and the last time I cooked ground Italian sausage, I managed to cook the wax paper along with it in the frying pan.

I am please to report that the thing did not catch on fire along with the rest of my kitchen. I am also please to report that, somehow, they sausages still managed to cook well enough, although much of it stuck to the wax paper and I could not scrape it off.

Maybe I should just stay out of the kitchen.

I am being hacked

September 6th, 2016 at 02:22 pm

So I don't know what is going on the past few weeks, but there have been several hack attempts to my various social media and email accounts online. The sources of these attacks are also from various countries from Phillipines to Argentina... though of course, countries of origin could easily be spoofed.

These are accounts that I rarely use, so I am not terribly concerned. What DOES concern me is that these are accounts with separate IDs that have no connection with one another. So how am I getting attacks from them as a group?

Anyways, off I go to lock these down, and hopefully it's just a random bot attack, and not someone who is interested in me somehow.

The last vestige of my past

September 5th, 2016 at 09:48 pm

Today, I finally got rid of the remaining item from my past: My secured credit card that I got after my divorce when my finances and credit score for that matter was in shambles. It was among my first steps in my vow towards financial recovery, and now, after all these years, I've finally canceled it.

All of my major purchases are done, I have new reward cards now that I use exclusively. In fact, I probably waited much longer than necessary to have it canceled, but I wanted to be sure before I do so.

So that's it. I also got a few other thing scratched off my to-do list, and plan on scratching off a few more tomorrow. Anyways, hope you guys are having a nice Labor day.

I'm back. Kinda.

September 4th, 2016 at 04:31 pm

My work schedule has recently changed in such a way that I can probably get online more often when time permits. So that means maybe more time for SA like from the days of yore?

The only thing is that I no longer have anything much to say these days. Things are running along fine and is pretty uneventful actually.

However, I do have a friend of a friend who owes a lot of money. Let's call them "L" and "E". L is a super nice guy. Took E and his girlfriend at the time in when they were super strapped. Housed them. Fed them. Even helped E find a job at his company.

And how does E repay L's gratitude? Well, actually that's the problem. He has not at all. If the story ended there, then things would have been fine though, as L is a super chill guy who is just generally to help his friends out in times of need.

However, E has since broken up with that girlfriend and is now dating L's sister-in-law. And they would constantly stay out and party late, and wouldn't answer phone calls to see if they are safe or not.

When L try to talk to E about these things, E would blame L for being nosy and how he will continue to live his life as he sees fit.

And now, E has taken L off his birthday event or something like that, citing that incident as the reason why... that L was somehow being a jerk. Nevermind the fact that E still has NOT even TRIED to pay off his debt to L for basically housing and feeding E for months at a time.

Even though it's a friend of a friend, it's bothering me too. I have done that myself once in the distant past, and I ended up with about the same results as well. So, I can certainly empathize, although I am so glad that I no longer have that issue.